Nov 15, 2022 | Podcast, Your Relationships

The Art of Being Generous But Boundaried In Your Business

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About the episode:

Today on The Prosperous Empath Podcast we’re going to be talking about the art of becoming generous but boundaried in your business. This is a topic we are going to be talking a lot more about on the podcast. If upleveling your boundaries as a heart-centered entrepreneur resonates, this is an episode that is really relevant for you. Today I’m sharing the four types of boundaries that are the foundation of healthy relationships, they’re what help us protect our energy and prioritize our time & wellness. No matter where you’re at in your own journey with boundaries, I believe there is something to learn from this episode because this is some of the most important work you can do as a business owner. Tune in and let me know your favorite takeaway or how you’re going to implement better boundaries this week. 


Topics discussed:

  • Catherine’s history with having almost zero boundaries because of her experience as an innkeeper’s daughter
  • How healthy boundaries will help you protect your energy, prioritize your wellness, and help you communicate more directly
  • What a well boundaried CEO looks like and what it’s like to work with one in business and in other relationships
  • The four types of boundaries that will serve you well and questions to help you grow in each
  • Why physical boundaries are the place to start if you’re just starting to heal your relationship with boundaries 
  • The way time boundaries will help you define your worth 
  • Why communication boundaries are the most important for helping you respect your relationships
  • How to feel supported in your own feelings with emotional boundaries 
  • The simple script that Catherine uses to help her practice healthy boundaries




Click here for a raw, unedited transcript of this episode

Catherine A. Wood  0:01  


Hello there, and welcome back to another episode of the podcast. Thank you so much for tuning back in with me today I am honored to have you here and thrilled to share with you about today’s topic. Today we’re going to be talking about the art of becoming generous, but boundaried in your business. And honestly, I think we could launch an entire podcast about boundaries in business. So take today’s episode as just a little teaser. We’re going to be talking a lot more about boundaries on the podcast. And if up leveling your boundaries in your heart center business is a topic that is really relevant for you, I highly encourage you check out our boundary boot camp mini course over at unbounded dash It’s a five day mini course with daily audio trainings and worksheets to support you and understanding how your boundaries were developed and how you can implement empowered boundaries to reclaim your time and energy. And I guess one of the reasons I talk about boundaries a lot is because I used to not have any and I share a lot more about this in the mini course but I grew up in a bed and breakfast so think Gilmore Girls but by the sea and I was the innkeepers daughter and I worked at the end my entire childhood. So just imagine being a little girl an empath, a people pleaser always wanting to make everyone happy, and your home is your work. And it was really hard for me to discern the lines between when I was working versus when I was off when I was helping other people versus when I wasn’t because honestly, we had guests in our home 24/7. And we were 24/7 serving other people taking care of other people. And don’t get me wrong, I had an amazing childhood. But it was a huge part of my journey and not having those physical boundaries modeled for me something that I really had to break up with, and put in place intentionally as I grew my business and scaled it. So all to say, honouring boundaries has been a linchpin to my success. They are something that I work with all of my clients on implementing in their own business. And boundaries are the foundation of healthy relationships in your business. They are what help protect your energy and prioritize your time and your wellness. And truly, they help us protect our relationship. They make us examine our own limits, they challenge us to communicate more directly, which ultimately helps us prevent miscommunications, misunderstandings, and built up resentment. I am a huge champion for boundaries in business. And I’m really excited to dig into today’s topic with all of you. So today, we’re going to share about four of the types of boundaries that you need to make sure are in place in your business. I’m going to walk you through some questions to ask for yourself as you’re up leveling your boundaries in these four areas. And I’m going to leave you with a couple of practices and even a sentence stem to support you in up leveling your boundaries. So let’s jump in. And I want to jump in with actually an anecdote. So at the end of last year, last December, in fact, we were going wedding dress shopping, and I was dress shopping with my mom and my friend Carrie Lin and we were out on Newbury Street in Boston. And for those of you who don’t know, wedding dress shopping on Newbury Street is a very Boston thing to do. And, you know, knowing myself to be a decisive decision maker, I probably should have given myself more credit for thinking I’d find the dress but I really didn’t. I didn’t think I was gonna find the dress. And I had done no pre preparation, no searching for wedding dresses. I didn’t have a vision board. I didn’t have that journal that many young girls kind of spend their whole life growing up imagining


none of that was true for me. We found, I think five dresses for me to try on that day. And I believe that we empathic CEOs that we typically look for signs or gut responses when we make big decisions in our lives whether it’s an intuitive knowing of feeling a felt sense, something and knowing myself, I could have imagined that that intuitive hit may have come when I walked out with the dress on and I looked at my mom and we both just knew, and perhaps I did to some degree. But do you know what the wedding stylist said to me during our fitting that made me 100%? Certain, maybe the price, the uniqueness of the dress, the fit? No, none of those things. The single question that she asked me that made all the difference was when I walked out with the dress on, she asked my permission to share her personal opinion with me. Wow. Now perhaps you’re chuckling at that or perhaps it doesn’t quite make sense. But stay with me for a moment. In my experience, there is nothing I appreciate more than a well boundaried CEO, or a wedding dress stylist in this case. So what is a well boundaried CEO, generally speaking, a well boundaried CEO knows how to stay in your own lane, and trust that you are completely capable and competent to stay in yours. This allows for more authentic and direct communication. In short, it allows for refreshingly transparent relationships. A well boundaried SEO is someone who doesn’t assume they know what’s best for you, who doesn’t assume they know what you think and doesn’t assume they know better than you. A well boundaried SEO is someone who honors both your time and their own, who does what they say they’ll do and acknowledges and owns a breakdown when there is one. A well boundaried CEO is also someone who values their word and the agreements that they make, and the contracts they sign. In my experience, there’s more power and integrity in partnering and collaborating with this caliber of human. It’s a sign that they’ve done their own work, to be able to show up this conscious and considerate, and service of themselves, and the individuals they partner with. Honestly, when that stylus asked me permission to give me her opinion, I knew I could trust her to tell me what was true for her. It made me respect her even more. And in that in my experience. That’s the gift of working with well boundaried heart centered entrepreneurs. Another example of this is that recently I was chatting with a girlfriend and I was sharing with her something stressful about what was going on in in my life. And I was sharing with her just like this endless list of things that I had to do. And out of the blue, she was like cat. Here’s my unsolicited opinion about this. Now, even in that example, while she didn’t pause like the wedding stylist did to see if she had my consent to give her opinion, the fact that she acknowledged that her opinion was unsolicited, and that it was hers rather than what needed to be true for me, was ultimately what allowed me to open up and to hear her filly. And thank goodness I did because honestly what she shared that day made a huge difference for me. And I think I was able to hear it more fully because she was responsible for the lens through which she delivered it. I am so grateful for working with clients who are committed to doing this type of work for themselves. As a recovering pleaser and an empathic woman, it makes all the difference for me, both in the depth of my relationships, the ownership of my voice and self expression, and the fulfillment in my work, being well. boundaried is an indicator that you too are committed to your own growth. It’s an indicator that you’re doing your work to be more self aware and conscious. It’s also an indicator that you can be trusted and that people will want to work with you. There’s honor, there’s integrity and honor and power in holding your own boundaries and respecting the boundaries of other people. There’s deeper relationships and more authenticity accessible and honoring boundaries and the boundaries of others. And I noticed that I have more access to trust both being trusting of myself and others as a consequence of being well boundary


With that, I want to share with you four types of boundaries that will serve you well in ensuring are in place in your boundaries. So the first type of boundaries are physical boundaries. And I’m kind of chuckling in here because I literally had to come into my bedroom to record our podcast today because my two dogs are in my office, and they were being so loud that I needed some physical space from them to have silence. So our physical boundaries are the ones that are easier to see. And also to some degree easier to define. They are the difference between knowing.


Your physical boundaries help define when you’re working. And when you’re not working. They help you define when you’re available for conversation when you’re not. Your physical boundaries help support your diet and nutrition. And they help prioritize your time to rest or to work so.


Regardless of where you are on your journey, and up leveling your boundaries and business, I think your physical boundaries is a great place to start because they can be easier to implement. So take around, take a look around your work life balance, see what’s in alignment, what’s out of alignment, what is working for you What’s supporting you, what’s not, I think a couple of great questions to ask you around physical boundaries are, let’s see, how do I define when I’m working and when I’m not working? How will I prioritize the time I need to rest. I think those are two great ones to start. Some that have really supported me over the years with physical boundaries are ensuring I have lunch pre made. So if I know that I don’t have a long lunch break midweek that I already have a meal prepared for me, or easy to make in the fridge so that I can make sure I eat. And several years ago when I was just starting out in business, my now husband and I we had just moved in together and we were in our first apartment together and it was a one bedroom. And we had my office nestled into a little corner of our bedroom, which is really hard for a recovering workaholic. So I really needed to clearly define my own physical boundaries of when I was working and what when I wasn’t working. And two of the structures that made such a difference for me was I had a nightlight on my desk, it was a milk lamp. And when I turned that lamp on, that signified when I was working. And when I turned the lamp off, at the end of the day, I had a ritual of it, I would turn the lamp off, I would close my laptop, and I would intentionally leave the bedroom and close the bedroom door. And that made such a difference for me. And just creating that physical ritual to separate when I’m working. And when I’m not another structure. Another boundary we put in place was to throw a it was like a it was like a throw, it was like a throw that we threw on the bed. And when the throw was on the bed that was a sign that I could lounge that I was no longer working. So those are just some random examples. But they have made such a difference for me in really looking at what I could see and what could help me define those physical boundaries. The second area of boundaries that we absolutely need to look at are your time boundaries. So time boundaries are the boundaries that you set for yourself regarding how you spend your time, how you prioritize your time what your time is worth. And for many of us heart centered entrepreneurs, we go into business because we are driven by our passions were driven by the difference we want to make the contributions we want to have. And it can be really hard to honor the work life balance, or lack thereof really balances, sometimes a figment of our imagination. After all, it can be really hard to honor your own time boundaries. So you really need to look intentionally around a couple factors. First of all, what is the season of business that you’re in. And I’ve written a couple of really great articles on the three seasons of business, the three stages of business that you may be in, so we’ll link to those in the show notes. But depending on the season of business that you’re in, there may be different requirements expected of you in terms of your time. And when you can set your expectations straight around your own time boundaries, then you can be that much more likely to set yourself up to honor them. When you are starting out in business and you’re in the build up stage of business, there’s likely a higher requirement on time that you’re going to want an even Empower of yourself, I remember when I started out in my business, I was still working nine to five in my day job. And working five to nine on my business, I literally worked around the clock, at any moment, I had free when I wasn’t in my day job to build the foundation and the client pipeline so that I could leave my day job. And that was a really empowered choice for me in terms of my boundaries, because I was in that startup stage of my business. And I was super committed to what I was doing. And it was it was a choice that I made intentionally. Now as I developed and became more of a mature business than that, of course wasn’t going to be a sane decision for me any longer. And then that required an opportunity to upgrade my boundaries. So some of the ways in which I honor boundaries at this point in my business, or that I have very clear Start and End Days to my, to my workday to my client load. And to my work week. I have all of my clients slots blocked in my calendar when I see one on one clients, when I hold my mastermind, when I’m available for coffee chats when I’m available for podcast recordings with guests. And those are my spots, that’s all I have available. And then I get to simply find the people who are available to fill those spots. And if they’re not available during those spots, then I can just simply trust that, that they’re not my people or that this is not the right time because they don’t fit into the time boundaries that I have intentionally set for myself. And there’s something that I can just trust and release about that. Adhering to my own ideal schedule is another structure that has been super useful to me over the years. It’s really kind of the framework that helps me have a visual representation of everything I just shared about my time slots for clients and mastermind coffees, etc. And it’s one of the exercises in the boundary boot camp if you’re looking for a clear, clear directions and guidance for how to create and design your own ideal schedule. So some of the questions that you might ask yourself as you are working on time boundaries in business are the following. How much time would I like to reserve just for myself during the week on the weekends, etc. What takes priority when I’m divvying up my work time and my free time. And we’ll leave it there for those two for time boundaries. The third type of boundaries that we’re going to talk about are communication boundaries. Communication boundaries are so important in my experience, communication boundaries are some of the most helpful boundaries in protecting and honoring relationships. Communication boundaries are the types of boundaries that we set that relate to our thoughts and ideas, things like how we are willing to respond to someone versus not how we respect our own ideas and respect the ideas of others, how we communicate and engage how we are available to have conversations, discussions, disagreements with people and how we’re not. I’d say one of the most helpful books I have ever read on communication boundaries as well as the fourth type of boundary we’re going to talk about is It’s called The Four Agreements by Don Miguel. Oh gosh, Don Miguel Ruiz, I think, then we’ll link to that in the show notes. But that book was such a powerful read for me in learning how to become impeccable with my word, always do my best, and to not take other people personally, which is not easy. It’s a learned practice. But I really highly recommend that book if you are working on stronger communication skills. It’s really a profound and Wise Book well beyond its ears. So some of the questions that you might ask yourself, if you’re working on communication boundaries, are the following. What does respecting ideas and others perspectives mean to me? How will I show others I respect their ideas and perspectives? How will I hold true to my own beliefs and perspectives? And what will signify to me that it’s time to walk away from a discussion, a client, an email exchange, a business opportunity? How will I know it’s time to walk away? When you have the answers to those questions clearly articulated for yourself, it will become that much more easier with time to practice honoring those boundaries. And the fourth and final type of boundary that we’re going to talk about are emotional boundaries. So to recap, we’ve talked about physical boundaries, so far, time boundaries, communication boundaries. And the fourth, again, is emotional boundaries.


Gosh, emotional boundaries can be challenging for some of us. The emotional boundaries are the types of boundaries that you set, and regarding what you’re comfortable sharing emotionally with others, and what you’re not. Emotional boundaries are what supports us in having our own feelings. As well as keeping us from imposing our feelings onto others. They help us prevent emotional dumping, they help us prevent being dumped on by other people’s Bs, and they help us handle our feelings in an appropriate way. So in my experience.


One of the tells, if working on emotional boundaries may be relevant for you is if in the heat of a discussion, or a disagreement with someone, if you notice yourself, projecting your opinions, your feelings onto someone else, this is a tell that this may be there may be some work for you to do here. So some of the examples of this that I’ve noticed over the years, I feel like you don’t care about me, I feel like you’re not respecting my time. So every time you notice the subject of the sentence isn’t actually about you that it’s about someone else, and you’re pointing the finger at someone else. Even if you start the sentence with AI. If the subject of the sentence is about someone else, then that is a tell that emotional boundaries, there may be some work for you to do here. Because at the end of the day, we are all responsible for our own feelings. And we are responsible for our own experience. Our business colleagues, our clients, our collaborators, they are never responsible for making us feel a certain way. And every time we hand off our responsibility to them every time in our heads, we make it about them. We think it’s their fault. We think they are not for us, and they may not be for you. But every time we make it more about them versus look within. We are projecting we’re taking someone else’s stuff personally, we’re making it about us, when in reality, everyone has a right to their own feelings. You get to decide whether they’re appropriate or not. And at the end of the day, everyone is responsible for their own feelings. And what I notice at this point in my own journey is that the people that I partner with the people that I attract are the ones who have emotional bound Drew’s in place, they are the clients, the colleagues, the partners, who, even in the face of feeling offended or upset or having feelings that they can they have the capacity to speak from their own experience. It’s so key, I really can’t speak to this work enough. There’s some great information in the book nonviolent communication, if this is something that you’re working on. And again, the Four Agreements, and learning how to not take people personally, will be a really useful resource for you as you engage in this work. So some of the questions that you might ask yourself, if you’re working on your own emotional boundaries are the following. Who will I turn to when I need to discuss something personal? And who am I not comfortable sharing personal things with? This is so important, I have lost more than one relationship over the years because I hadn’t had not distinguished for myself the answer to that question, Who am I not sharing whom I’m not comfortable sharing personal things with, I tend to think of myself as an open book. And what I noticed that one of the consequences of being an open book and sharing everything is that if people aren’t at a place in their own journeys, to hear what you have to say, without comparing themselves and their experience with yours, that leaves a residue, that leaves an impact over here, and over time that can breed resentment and hurt in relationship. So knowing who you can trust with certain type of material is such a game changer. Another question you might ask yourself, How will I make space to process my own emotions so that when I share, I’m not just dumping problems on to someone else, I think this is another key one. And I think, you know, perhaps our partners, they bear the brunt of this, because we think that they’re just there to hear our venting whenever we need it. And in reality, we get to care for our partners. And one of the ways that we can do that is by simply asking them if they are available for us to vent, or if they’re available for us to process some of our own emotions out loud. And when we do that, when we are responsible for our emotional needs, we are setting ourselves up for emotionally healthy and well boundaried relationships. I hope those were useful those four types of boundaries. So whether you’re working on your emotional, your time, your communication, or your physical boundaries, I think it’s some of the most important work that you can do. And a couple of final practices that I’ll leave you with today. And there’s a great blog on there’s so many articles on our blog about boundaries, but one in particular, is about being a well boundaried CEO. And we were sharing repurposing some of this content here. So I’ll be sure to share this blog in the show notes. So three final practices or two practices and a sentence stem. So the first practice is to ask permission to share your personal opinion or feedback with others, when it’s about them. Just like the wedding stylist with me did, it makes such a difference when if you have an opinion, when you think you you have an something that you’re being right about to ask without attachment, if the person is open to hearing it. I noticed that in my personal relationships, practicing being an active listener, and seeking to understand rather than project has been really useful. And one of the ways that I can practice and you to being an active listener is asking permission to share your own personal opinion or feedback. The next one, which I think is really important for entrepreneurs, and particularly heart centered entrepreneurs who value collaboration and partnerships so much is to honor your agreements and own the impact when you don’t, or can’t consider it that we make agreements with others all the time everywhere. Whether we’re scheduling a call using someone’s acuity link signing a contract with someone online, telling our partners when we’ll be home, or even telling your nieces and nephews when you’re available to play with them or hanging out. Being a well boundaried CEO and a conscious human being looks like actively working to honor those agreements, and in the process, honoring ourselves and the individuals that we You make those agreements with. And last but not least, I want to leave you with a simple script that I find incredibly helpful in relationships. It’s one that my clients tend to gain a lot from. So I hope that you enjoy it. Consider that in relationships, we make up a lot of assumptions about other people. We presume that we know what they’re thinking what they’re believing feeling. And then we operate on top of those assumptions. And particularly, we as empaths do that, right, because we sense other people’s feelings and emotions. And there’s a difference between sensing them versus being right about them and being attached that we are sensing the correct thing. It can be really hurtful. And it can also limit the authenticity in relationships, when we are operating from those assumptions. So practicing this simple script has been a transformative experience for clients, and for myself, deeply. So next time you’re feeling uncomfortable in a conversation, whether you’re triggered, or your nervous system is activated, and you feel this need to jump in to fix to solve to respond to help. Instead, try this. I noticed I have an assumption that you blank and then you’re going to share something that you think they’re feeling or needing, and then ask, is that true? So here’s what I practice recently. I noticed I have an assumption that I hurt your feelings and I’m wondering if you need an apology is that true? This is a simple and refreshing practice that is both vulnerable and deeply respectful, and honoring to the people that you care about. This is an example of being well boundaried but generous, and it is an example of what will make your relationships last. Thanks so much for listening to today’s episode.


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